Classification society DNV GL has granted an Approval in Principle (AIP) to France-based company AYRO for its Oceanwings 3.6.3 wind-assisted propulsion system for vessels.

Oceanwings 3.6.3 system has been designed to leverage wind energy to enable ship owners and operators to boost the energy balance of individual ships and fleets and reduce carbon emissions considerably.

The wind propulsion system is a 363m² wingsail, which can be used on newbuilds and in the retrofit of existing vessels.

AYRO CEO Ludovic Gérard said: “This AIP award is a significant step in the development of AYRO and we are happy to have passed the first step of the ongoing certification process of our wingsail. This is the result of the work of the entire technical team over the past few months. The Oceanwings 3.6.3 are suitable for most types of cargo vessels.

“We continue to receive a lot of enquiries and numerous requests for feasibility studies from shipowners and charterers worldwide, for both retrofits and newbuilding projects. Our mission and vision are to support them in designing their vessels, as well as the fitting and maintaining the Oceanwings in order to help them meet the challenges of competitiveness and GHG emission reductions.”

After ten years of research, AYRO came up with the first prototype in 2017 and the industrial demonstrator Energy Observer in 2019.

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DNV GL issued an AIP statement, confirming that no substantial hindrances exist to prevent the realisation of the concept.

It was issued by DNV GL after reviewing the key strategies and documents of the system against its relevant rules for the classification of ships.

DNV GL maritime senior principal engineer Hasso Hoffmeister said: “We are very pleased to be able to issue this AIP to AYRO for its Oceanwings 3.6.3 system. National and international regulations, in addition to governments, customers, and the public, are all increasing pressure on the industry to decarbonise. An AIP can help build confidence in shipowners and operators by demonstrating that new technologies can not only help them improve sustainability but follow well-established, trusted, and independent standards.”

Recently, DNV GL developed a standard for the authorisation of wind-assisted propulsion systems after receiving enquiries for the independent assessment of those systems.

In January, Korea Shipbuilding and Offshore Engineering (KSOE) secured an AIP from DNV GL for a wing-sail auxiliary propulsion system for ships.

The system was delivered by KSOE and SK Shipping under a joint project that seeks to develop wind-powered eco-friendly propulsion solutions.